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The Bright Mississippi

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 28 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Nonesuch
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #946 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. Egyptian Fantasy
2. A Dear Old Southland
3. St. James Infirmary
4. Singin' the Blues
5. Winin' Boy Blues
6. West End Blues
7. Blue Drag
8. Just a Closer Walk with Thee
9. Bright Mississippi
10. Day Dream
11. "Long, Long Journey"
12. Solitude

Product Description

2009 release from the New Orleans legend. On The Bright Mississippi Toussaint continues to break new ground with his first Jazz-oriented set, displaying the same effortless swing and relaxed charm he brought to his classic Rock 'N' Roll sides. Backed by an all-star combo that sounds like a group of old friends, Toussaint reinterprets classic Jazz and Blues tunes popularized or written by such New Orleans greats as Louis Armstrong, Sidney Bechet, Jelly Roll Morton and Joe King Oliver, as well as pieces composed by fellow travelers Django Reinhardt, Duke Ellington and Thelonious Monk. He accedes the producer's chair to trusted friend Joe Henry, who sat behind the board for Toussaint's contributions to Our New Orleans, Nonesuch Records' best-selling 2005 benefit disc aiding Katrina hurricane victims.

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Most helpful customer reviews

By Jeffrey N Valks on Dec 2 2014
Format: LP Record
This album is a glorious mixture of sorcery, passion and unmatched brilliance.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 70 reviews
70 of 73 people found the following review helpful
Elegant, lyrical and...funky. April 24 2009
By jazzias - Published on
Format: Audio CD
The 71-year-old piano icon fron New Orleans has a released a recording, which is simply dynamic, atmospheric and fizzing.
It's a pleasant amalgam of versions of classic compositions and jazz standards (ranging from Duke Ellington and Django Reinhardt to Louis Armstrong and Thelonious Monk) which sometimes make the listeners rise to their feet and feel groovy.
The theme is Toussaint's acknowledgement and affirmation of the artistic, historical and spiritual connections that have made New Orleans the powerful jazz force it has become over the past decades.
The renowned producer Joe Henry (who had already worked with Toussaint on the CD "The River In Reverse" with Elvis Costello), suggested he revisit the city's jazz era.
For the new recording, which provides a stimulating exploration of Allen Toussaint's unique talents, the "Moses of New Orleans" teams with a cast of heavy weight cats : clarinetist Don Byron, trumpeter Nicholas Payton, guitarist Marc Ribot and, on a track a piece, pianist Brad Mehldau and saxophonist Joshua Redman.
His piano versions of standards such as "Winin' Boy Blues" showcase his utter nonchalance and diplay that funk was always in the Big Easy's blood.
There are rhythms, which are elegant and infectious and spiritual, soulful vibes, in the spirit of a fine evening of Crescent City-inspired music.
The silky, lyrical piano touch and improvisational sweep from Toussaint can give even Herbie Hancock a run.
The results is a very enjoyable and relaxed listening: there was never any doubt Allen Toussaint's long awaited and almost first jazz solo album would be anything other than magnificent.
My favourite tracks: "Dear Old Southland", "West End Blues" and "Bright Mississippi".
Update. The album debuts at # 2 of the Billboard Top Jazz Albums.
Issue date: 2009-05-09
The Allen Toussaint Collection
The River in Reverse
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
A New Orleans natural classic Dec 7 2011
By Teach - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
How good is this album exactly? Take your bad self out in the back yard some sweet summer afternoon with a bucket of ice, some branch water, a jug of bourbon, and a big fat glass. Put this on. Listen, sip, ponder, sip, and repeat. Wonder why N'awlins folks march at funerals? This explains. Curious how the city could come back after Katrina? This'll tell. Ever pondered on how that strange, powerful mix of joy and sadness can soothe and uplift at the same time? Answer's right here, partner. Allen Toussaint knows all and explains it as clearly, smoothly, and easily as that bourbon in your hand. The South -- yep, that mythic, historical, literal, real, figurative place -- in all its art forms has always tempered joyful exuberance with the blue melancholia of loss. If a city is emblematic of that seeming contradiction in emotions, New Orleans is it. If there's a New Orleans musician who can play that complex emotional gumbo, Allen Toussaint is the man, this is the music, and this is the album. Take another sip.
24 of 29 people found the following review helpful
...just look at the line up... May 4 2009
By T. Klaase - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Talk about All Stars - look at all the wonderful musicians on this recording... One would be hard pressed to see Marc Ribot playing New Orleans-style anywhere else, although he did cover St. James Infirmary on his solo album "Saints"....

Oddly enough for me, I was more intrigued with the cast than Toussaint himself, but he's won me over with smart selections and lovely playing. Each song has that majestical new orleans feel that one can only understand having come from that environment.

Great job Nonsuch too - for recognizing the need for a project like this... 4 stars...
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
great album Nov. 4 2010
By Paul Allaer - Published on
Format: Audio CD
I am, by my own admission, a casual fan of Allen Toussaint. Yes, I am quite aware of his long musical legacy and influence.Then, by chance, I had the good fortune of catching Toussaint in concert last week (more on that later).

"The Bright Mississippi" (12 tracks; 62 min.) is an amazing album. Opening with "Egyptian Fantasy" it immediately brings the "Mississippi" sound to the fore. Better tracks lay ahead, such as "Dear Old Southland", featuring the beautiful piano work from Toussaint. Other highlights for me are "Winin' Boy Blues", just Toussaint on piano; the pensive "Blue Drag"; the title track; and the album closer "Solitude". Allen takes vocals on just 1 track, "Long, Long Journey" and that is quite a nice track too. This is a "lazy" album, and I do mean that as a compliment, perfect to have as a soundtrack while you are reading a book.

So last week I was in Columbus on business and couldn't believe my good fortune to see that Toussaint was in town at the beautiful and intimate Southern Theatre. What a great show that was, with Toussaint playing several tracks of this album and also bringing many of his "greatest hits". The man has an amazing musical legacy indeed. After the show I picked up this album, and I can't emphasize enough how much I am enjoying this album.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Awesome Nov. 19 2010
By bunnyrabbit4 - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I'm from New Orleans and have heard most of these songs many times, however the arrangements here make this CD very special. It is all acoustic guitar, horn and piano with each taking its turn doing a ride on the melodies. Vocals are not present with the exception of "Long Journey Home". I've been listening to it for the last three hours while I'm redoing the living room and I have no intention of turning it off anytime soon! Just when one soloist seems to be draining his last drop of creativity, another chimes in and the musical wave flows forward again. Many of his Cd's have more a of a Blue's dance hall feel and can be a bit uneven musically. This one works as a whole. I wasn't ever tempted to skip a track. The whole CD is worth your dime.

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